Madonna wasn't always a Material Girl. In fact, sometimes she skipped the material altogether.
Nude photos of the pop icon, taken in 1977 when she was an 18-year-old college student, have hit the auction block after surfacing among the possessions of Penthouse founder Bob Guccione, who died in 2010.
According to information provided by the Guccione Collection, Madonna Louise Ciccone was a dance student at the University of Michigan when she agreed to pose for $10 an hour for photographer Herman Kulkens.
The brunette future superstar is featured in various states of undress, ranging from merely topless to flashing full-frontal nudity.
After the young model became a big star following the release of her 1983 self-titled debut album, the photographs—shocker—surfaced and ended up at the center of a legal battle when Penthouse attempted to publish them and Kulkens and his wife sued because they wanted them published in Playboy.
Ultimately, both men's mags published some of Kulkens' Madonna pictures in 1985, though Playboy claimed it was technically first.
New York businessman Jeremy Frommer bought Guccione's personal art and memorabilia collection and is the one bringing the photos and some other items to auction, which is scheduled for Nov. 9 via the collection's website.
So, who's surprised?!
Madonna has historically seemed comfortable using her body to its utmost capacity to titillate and/or start a conversation, be it onstage or through projects like her controversial, explicit and best-selling 1992 photo book Sex.
"Madonna has acknowledged in past interviews that she did pose nude for art classes when she was a model," her rep said in a statement in response to the auction news, per London's Daily Mail. "Her feeling is she's never done anything she's ashamed of."
"She is someone who has a highly charged sexuality, and, unlike most people, she neither disguises it nor is ashamed of it," Nicholas Callaway of Callaway Editions Inc., which published Sex, told Vanity Fair in 1992. "She exhibits, explores, and displays it, and feels no compunction about doing so publicly. She also realizes it can be very profitable."
"I don't have the same hang-ups that other people do, and that's the point I'm trying to make with this book," the artist herself said in the same article. "I don't think that sex is bad. I don't think that nudity is bad. I don't think that being in touch with your sexuality and being able to talk about it and being able to talk about this person and their sexuality [is bad].
"I think the problem is that everybody's so uptight about it that they make it into something bad when it isn't, and if people could talk about it freely, we would have people practicing more safe sex, we wouldn't have people sexually abusing each other, because they wouldn't be so uptight to say what they really want, what they really feel."